Catching a sound of skirts and light steps at the door, she
looked round, and her care-worn face unconsciously expressed not
gladness, but wonder. She got up and embraced her sister-in-law.
"What, here already!" she said as she kissed her.
"Dolly, how glad I am to see you!"
"I am glad, too," said Dolly, faintly smiling, and trying by the
expression of Anna's face to find out whether she knew. "Most
likely she knows," she thought, noticing the sympathy in Anna's
face. "Well, come along, I'll take you to your room," she went
on, trying to defer as long as possible the moment of
"Is this Grisha? Heavens, how he's grown!" said Anna; and
kissing him, never taking her eyes off Dolly, she stood still and
flushed a little. "No, please, let us stay here."
She took off her kerchief and her hat, and catching it in a lock
of her black hair, which was a mass of curls, she tossed her head
and shook her hair down.
"You are radiant with health and happiness!" said Dolly, almost
"I?.... Yes," said Anna. "Merciful heavens, Tanya! You're the
same age as my Seryozha," she added, addressing the little girl
as she ran in. She took her in her arms and kissed her.
"Delightful child, delightful! Show me them all."
She mentioned them, not only remembering the names, but the
years, months, characters, illnesses of all the children, and
Dolly could not but appreciate that.
"Very well, we will go to them," she said. "It's a pity Vassya's
After seeing the children, They sat down, alone now, in the
drawing room, to coffee. Anna took the tray, and then pushed it
away from her.
"Dolly," she said, "he has told me."